Chapter 90: Open Burning

Please note: the presented text comprises select passages extracted from the comprehensive Code of Ordinances.
It is imperative to recognize that the entire and authoritative Code of Ordinances document, inclusive of all amendments, is accessible on the website and represents the definitive and approved iteration.


For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly
indicates or requires a different meaning.

Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshals of the Fire Department which provides fire protection services to the

OPEN BURNING. The burning of any matter if the resultant combustion products are emitted
directly to the atmosphere without passing through a stack, duct or chimney, except a Arecreational fire@
as defined herein. Mobile cooking devices such as manufactured hibachis, charcoal grills, wood smokers
and propane or natural gas devices are not defined as OPEN BURNING.

RECREATIONAL FIRE. A fire set with approved starter fuel no more than three feet in height,
contained within the border of a Arecreational fire site@ using dry, clean wood; producing little detectable
smoke, odor or soot beyond the property line; conducted with an adult tending the fire at all times; for
recreational, ceremonial, food preparation for social purposes; extinguished completely before quitting the
occasion; and respecting weather conditions, neighbors, burning bans and air quality so that nuisance,
health or safety hazards will not be created. No more than one RECREATIONAL FIRE is allowed on any
property at one time.

RECREATIONAL FIRE SITE. An area of no more than a three foot diameter circle (measured from
the inside of the fire ring or border); completely surrounded by non-combustible and non-smoke or odor
producing material, either of natural rock, cement, brick, tile or blocks or ferrous metal only an which area
is depressed below ground, on the ground, or on a raised bed. Included are permanent outdoor wood
burning fireplaces. Burning barrels are not a RECREATION FIRE SITE, as defined herein.
RECREATIONAL FIRE SITES shall not be located closer than 25 feet to any structure.

STARTER FUELS. Dry, untreated, unpainted, kindling, branches, cardboard or charcoal fire starter.
Paraffin candles and alcohols are permitted as STARTER FUELS and as aids to ignition only. Propane
gas torches or other clean gas burning devices causing minimal pollution must be used to start an open

WOOD. Dry, clean fuel only such as twigs, branches, limbs, Apresto logs,@ charcoal, cord wood or
untreated dimensional lumber. The term does not include wood that is green with leaves or needles, rotten,
wet, oil soaked or treated with paint, glue or preservatives. Clean pallets may be used for recreational fires
when cut into three foot lengths.


(A) No person shall conduct, cause or permit open burning oils, petro fuels, rubber, plastics,
chemically treated materials or other materials which produce excessive or noxious smoke such as tires,
railroad ties, treated, painted or glued wood composite shingles, tar paper, insulation, composition board,
sheetrock, wiring, paint or paint fillers.

(B) No person shall conduct, cause or permit open burning of hazardous waste or salvage operations,
open burning of solid waste generated from an industrial or manufacturing process or from a service or
commercial establishment or building material generated from demolition of commercial or institutional

(C) No person shall conduct, cause or permit open burning of discarded material resulting from the
handling, processing, storage, preparation, serving or consumption of food.

(D) No person shall conduct, cause or permit open burning of any leaves or grass clippings.
Penalty, see ‘ 10.99


No person shall start or allow any open burning on any property in the city without first having
obtained an open burn permit, except that a permit is not required for any fire which is a recreational fire,
as defined in ‘ 90.60.
Penalty, see ‘ 10.99


(A) Open burn permits may be issued only for the following purposes:
(1) Elimination of fire of health hazard that cannot be abated by other practical means;
(2) Ground thawing for utility repair and construction;
(3) Disposal of vegetative matter for managing forest, prairie or wildlife habitat, and in the
development and maintenance of land and rights-of-way where chipping, composting, landspreading or
other alternative methods are not practical;
(4) Disposal of diseased trees generated on site, diseased or infected nursery stock, diseased bee
hives; and/or
(5) Disposal of unpainted, untreated, non-glued lumber and wood shakes generated from
construction, where recycling, reuse, removal or other alternative disposal methods are not practical.
Emergency Management
Health and Sanitation; Nuisances 19

(B) Fire training permits can only issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Penalty, see ‘ 10.99


(A) Open burning permits shall be obtained by making application on a form prescribed the
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and adopted by the Fire Department. The permit application shall
be presented to the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshals for reviewing and processing those

(B) An open burning permit shall require the payment of a fee. Permit fees shall be in the amount
established by the Council.
Penalty, see ‘ 10.99


Upon receipt of the completed open burning permit application and permit fee, the Fire Chief, Fire
Marshal or Assistant Fire Marshals shall schedule a preliminary site inspection to locate the proposed burn
site, note special conditions and set dates and time of permitted burn and review fire safety considerations.


(A) Prior to starting an open burn, the permit holder shall be responsible for confirming that no
burning ban or air quality alert is in effect. Every open burn event shall be constantly attended by the
permit holder or his or her competent representative. The open burning site shall have available,
appropriate communication and fire suppression equipment as set out in the fire safety plan.

(B) The open burn fire shall be completely extinguished before the permit holder or his or her
representative leaves the site. No fire may be allowed to smolder with no person present. It is the
responsibility of the permit holder to have a valid permit, as required by this subchapter, available for
inspection on the site by the Police Department, Fire Department, MPCA representative or DNR forest

(C) (1) The permit holder is responsible for compliance and implementation of all general conditions,
special conditions and the burn event safety plan as established in the permit issued.
(2) The permit holder shall be responsible for all costs incurred as a result of the burn, including,
but not limited to fire suppression and administrative fees.
Penalty, see ‘ 10.99

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